Company of Heroes 2 'one giant, offensive stereotype' to Russia, say critics

Company of Heroes 2 has received sharp criticism among residents in and around Russia, for how it portrays the brutality of Russian leadership in World War 2.

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Company of Heroes 2 prides itself on authenticity, down to tank types and simulated weather systems. But some Russian critics are calling foul for how it portrays their leadership and tactics during the fierce battles of World War 2.

Polygon reports that vocal critics in Russia and the surrounding countries have expressed offense to the game's portrayal of the country. This has hit its Metacritic score as critical players call it "a complete falsification of the history of Russia and its methods of warfare" and "ideological rubbish."

Specifically, critics take exception to the depiction of Russian tactics, like sending soldiers into battle without weapons, and shooting retreating soldiers to discourage the practice. Relic claims the depiction is historically accurate, and based on research and testimony from soldiers. But its detractors say that they are too selective, and that it doesn't properly portray the Russian sacrifices that helped curb the Nazi invasion.

"The campaign is basically one giant, offensive stereotype," said Lukasz Markiewicz, a Polish tax officer with a degree in ancient history. "The events on the Eastern Front were likely the most grim four years in the history of mankind. There is nothing wrong with trying to recreate that. It is wrong however to essentially reduce it to the lazy stereotype of German Ubermensch Wehrmacht and SS against the Soviet Horde.

"The Eastern Front was a confrontation of two murderous, totalitarian regimes. The problem is, this brutality gets turned up to eleven and ends up being a parody," he added.

Game director Quinn Duffy said they "had to choose specific battles and incidences to deliver the breadth of the narrative," and notes that the campaign's story took its main inspiration from embedded journalist Vasily Grossman. He says elements like sending soldiers into battle without rifles are "entirely plausible," and as intended, it's "not about cruelty or incompetence, it's about desperation and bravery."

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  • reply
    July 26, 2013 5:00 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Company of Heroes 2 'one giant, offensive stereotype' to Russia, say critics.

    Company of Heroes 2 has received sharp criticism among residents in and around Russia, for how it portrays the brutality of Russian leadership in World War 2.

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      July 26, 2013 5:44 PM

      I don't remember any complaints about the Stalingrad levels in Call of Duty. In those levels there was a lot of "Comrad Stalin says, 'not one stop backwards!'" and everyone who retreats gets shot. The soldiers who jump out the boat get shot, the soldiers retreating at the landing get shot and a load of soldiers retreating in Red Square get shot, so all in all a lot of people got shot for retreating.

      There were also soldiers without rifles because only one in every two soldiers got rifles. The instructions were something like, "the man with the rifle runs at the enemy and shoots. The man without the rifle runs behind him. When he gets shot the man without the rifle picks up the rifle and continues to shoot". You never got a rifle and had to run behind somebody else until he was shot.

      So it seems CoD got away with the exact same things without any complaints. Besides, I'm surprised it's this the Russians are complaining about rather than their depiction in games set in the present. CoD: Modern Warfare - Russian villains. Battlefield: Bad Company - Russian villains. Battlefield 3 - Russian villains. You'd think they'd be more pissed off about the endless depictions of them as the bad guys.

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        July 26, 2013 6:13 PM

        I'm surprised they have time to complain while out on the road threatening people with hatchets and baseball bats.

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        July 27, 2013 8:17 AM

        Good catch Milquetoast; you'd think they would have been more up at arms about their "role" in murdering all of the people in an airport in MW2.

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        August 31, 2013 4:50 AM

        The internet & the media was not as good as it is today during the COD 1&2 and most of the gamers were hardcore (people who are dedicated to game rather than what it meant). But it is different today the world can here you just at a press of a button. Therefore COH 2 has been staring down the barrle in CIS region and RUSSIA.

        As for the COD modern warfare and battlefield these are games based on fiction rather than the characters and people who are real. And the most important thing is COH 2 has portrayed one the most sensitive matter to the Russians 'THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR' and made some errors within like showing soldiers burning houses with civilians inside.

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      July 26, 2013 6:04 PM

      Haven't these guys seen ENEMY AT THE GATES?

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        July 26, 2013 6:13 PM

        you could show russians doing anything, including kitten rape, as long as you have ed harris on your side, all is forgiven

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          July 26, 2013 6:14 PM

          Ed Harris was the German.

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          July 27, 2013 2:15 AM

          You mean Rachel Weisz on your side.

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            July 27, 2013 2:29 AM

            She was the best part of that movie

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            July 27, 2013 9:43 AM

            Remember that awkward and needless sex scene? The directors just kind of threw their hands up and said, "well, we have Rachel Weisz... May as well have a sex scene."

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              July 27, 2013 1:31 PM

              A sex scene with Rachel Weisz is NEVER "needless".

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        July 27, 2013 1:33 AM

        Sounds about rite.

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      July 26, 2013 7:47 PM

      Do something about neo-nazi scum bags beating up and humiliating gays in Russia if you don't want to look bad in the eyes of the world. Being portrayed accurately, but not ideally in WW2 is the least of your worries.

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        July 26, 2013 9:24 PM

        The smell of nationalism is in the Russian air. The aroma of insecurity, bigotry and hatred of anyone who defies the political and moral forces of Putin and the church.

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          July 27, 2013 9:48 AM

          I've also been getting these vibes from Russia, lately. Not good.

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          July 27, 2013 10:15 AM

          Reminds me I still need to watch the HBO documentary on Pussy Riot. Such insanity.

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      July 26, 2013 8:22 PM

      They should try being American. Our culture is so oikophobic that our government propagandizes against us. ""Hitler was the greatest philosopher of the 20th century." - Abraham Lincoln - U.S. Civics, 2013 Edition. What are Civics mean?" - Valedictorian, Clearfield High 2013

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      July 26, 2013 11:57 PM

      History doesn't give a shit if you don't like it. Russians are angry because CoH2 is stereotypical of Hollywood and try make the war seem more brutal and dramatic than it was, but there are plenty of historical records of penal battalions 'blocking' for normal infantry in the war. Soviets may not have sent soldiers into the fight without weapons, but the value of a Soviet grunt was less than a German in the eyes of their commanders. The eastern front was a fucking nightmare come alive.

      Just because the story of the war doesn't fit with the glory that your grandparents and government spoke of growing up doesn't make it so. I'm glad that CoH2 is more about the horror of the war than the first game.

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        July 27, 2013 7:39 AM

        Uhm I think ww2 was probably the darkest chapter in human history so far... I would like to see what you call dramatic. Lol

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          July 27, 2013 9:19 AM

          If you think WW2 was the darkest chapter in human history, you apparently you don't keep up with the daily news then. Welcome to 2013, shits way worse.

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      July 27, 2013 7:26 AM

      Isn't it a video game and not a documentary film?

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        August 31, 2013 4:58 AM

        Yeah so was the game based on the the COLUMBIA SHOOTING MASSACRE when i was a kid and Ethnic cleansing.

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      July 27, 2013 10:03 AM

      Pick up a book. Stalin was brutal some would argue he had to be, some would say he was worst then Hitler. either way he murdered hundreds of thousands of his own people that cannot be denied. The Politically Correct denialists will only enable another like Stalin to emerge again

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        July 27, 2013 10:07 AM

        Why did you capitalize politcally correct?

        Also lol @ 'read a book'

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      July 27, 2013 10:25 PM

      Now I can't remember what I said, or who I was responding to that got erased. Only that I was right, and that I criticized the un-criticizable administration, apparently. *shrugs*

    • reply
      July 28, 2013 1:46 PM

      like Theresa implied I'm startled that any body can get paid $9405 in 4 weeks on the computer. did you read this web link http://goo.gl/Fp9qx

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